Uhuru bags continental gender equality award

From left: President Uhuru Kenyatta, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and First Lady of the Republic of Rwanda Jeanette Kagame during this year's International Women's Day celebrations at Kenya School of Government, in Nairobi County. Uhuru has won African Gender Award 2022.

Photo credit: Photo | PSCU

What you need to know:

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta has received the African Gender Award 2022.
  • Award issued by Gender is my Agenda Campaign recognises leaders’ and institutions’ commitment to gender mainstreaming.
  • The network recognised that under Uhuru’s leadership, Kenya achieved eleven out of 12 operative articles of the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has received the African Gender Award 2022 for championing gender equality and development in the country.

Other recipients of the continental award are Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (Creaw) and Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) who won the private sector and the civil society award respectively.

The award issued by Gender is my Agenda Campaign (Gimac) Network recognises leaders’ and institutions’ commitment to gender mainstreaming and achievement of gender equality and equity.

The network recognised that under President Kenyatta’s leadership, Kenya achieved eleven out of 12 operative articles of the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa.

The organisation also observed that Kenya has seen a growth of 2.9 percent in women's representation in parliament between 2016 and 2022, and 16 percent growth between 2019 and 2022.

Cross-border FGM

The body acknowledged the establishment of Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO), the prohibition of Female Genital mutilation (FGM) Act 2011, and the creation of a special unit in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution to handle FGM, child marriage and GBV cases.

The organisation in addition recognised the development of the National Policy on the Abandonment of FGM, enhanced efforts to end harmful cultural practices, regional Declarations to end cross-border FGM, and the launch of Girl Get Equal Campaign.

The enactment of Protection against Domestic Violence Act 2015, adoption of a national policy for the prevention and response to gender-based violence (GBV), and an action plan for its implementation, development of a National Action Plan on UN Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (KNAP) and the establishment of 11 GBV recovery centres within health facilities was also listed as part of the consideration of the continental award.

In the fight against HIV and Aids, access to ARVs for women rose from 67 percent to 91 percent since Uhuru took over government in 2013.

County First Ladies

The Kenya Health Policy 2014-2030, which ensures free maternity service and increased the number of deliveries in health facilities by 23.1 percent between 2014 and 2018 was also listed.

Gimac also observed that in 2018, the government through the County First Ladies Association in partnership with Kenya Red Cross and African Cotton Industries, launched a three-year Menstrual Health Management Programme to empower one million girls and one million boys in the 47 counties.

The awarding body also named the Health Insurance Subsidy Programme (HISP), Kenya’s improvement in its primary education enrolment moving from 37.6 percent in 2016 to 103.4 percent in 2022 and the Basic Education Amendment Act 2016 that established the sanitary towels programme, which places the responsibility of providing free sanitary towels on government.

The award is anchored on three thematic indices namely HIV index, education index and gender parity index.

Speaking at State House, Nairobi when he received the award last week, President Kenyatta thanked Gimac for recognising Kenya’s leadership in improving the lives of girls, women and boys.

“I am deeply honoured to receive this year’s African Gender Award, in recognition of the significant strides we have made in advancing gender equality and empowerment of women and girls,” said the President.

Maputo Protocol

He commended the Gender is my Agenda Campaign for keeping the AU Solemn Declaration alive by monitoring its implementation.

The Head of State singled out the women’s movement in Kenya for the advocacy on the implementation of the regional gender instruments including the Maputo Protocol.

Public Service and Gender Cabinet Secretary Prof Margaret Kobia called upon the society to continue improving the life of women, men, girls and boys.

 “We are so honoured to have our efforts to advance the gender agenda feted by Gimac Network. We have been presented with the African Gender Award along with KEPSA Kenya,” Creaw Executive Director Wangechi Wachira tweeted.

The African Gender Forum is a gender platform for the women of Africa to forge their own strategic path regarding relevant actors and partners.

The African Gender award serves as a mechanism to monitor and reward an African head of state or government who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in promoting gender equality and development within the thematic areas of the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (SDGEA).

In the past the Award, recognized every two years, an African Head of State or government has been awarded for showing an outstanding contribution to gender parity.

Previous winners of the award include former Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade (2005) and Armando Guebuza (2011), former South African President Thabo Mbeki (2007) Rwanda’s Paul Kagame (2009), former Liberia president Ellen Sirleaf Johnson (2011) and Namibia’s president Hage Geingob (2017).